by A.J. Coltrane
Title: Small World — “It’s a World of SLaughter After All”
Game Type: Irreverent High Fantasy-Expansion/Territorial acquisition. Vaguely reminiscent of games like “Risk”. (Well, there’s a board with a map, and you’re trying to take it over. The similarities end there.)
Number of Players: 2-5
Complexity of Rules: Medium
Time to Play: 80 minutes
The Concept: It’s a silly (and tiny) fantasy world, populated by Flying Giants, Merchant Skeletons, Commando Halflings, Seafaring Ghouls, and so on. The mix of races and special abilities are randomly paired together each game. The players then “draft” their race and try to occupy as much territory as possible. When a race has been stretched as thin as it can go, or has taken too many casualties, then the player will put that race into “Decline” (retire it) and draft a new race, re-entering the fray with fresh troops. Game length is 10 turns or less, depending upon the number of players.
Why I Like It: The silly approach to high fantasy is handled well. The artwork is well done. Selecting the races requires thought and a critical eye for the race/ability combos that may be advantageous at the moment. There’s a nice mix of strategy and somewhat chaotic gameplay — if you play with your brain turned off you likely won’t win. It’s fun to rampage across the countryside, wiping out your friends’ troops as you go. It’s also fun to yell stuff like “Pillaging Ratmen!” or “Alchemist Trolls!”, and have the whole table groan. Once everyone gets the hang of it the game moves right along.
Boardgamegeek page here.